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DJs of MASS DESTRUCTION Interview by Rob Fatal — 06/23/2007

Updated 07/19/07

DJs of Mass Destruction
06/23/07 — MP3

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DJs of Mass Destruction
Interview and Article
by Rob Fatal (KSSU)
06/23/07 — MP3

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(the turd hunt continues…)

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(if it feels good, do it!)

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SF, CA — 01/18/03

Page:   1  2  3  4
posted 01/29/03

SF, CA — 09/11/03

posted 10/01/03



SF Bay Guardian
Local Grooves


DJ Stefan
WFMU — New York



Here's an interview with the DJs of Mass Destruction, recorded right after their live performance on KFJC 89.7FM (Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA). The interview was conducted by Rob Fatal of The Waxaholixx Show (KSSU-AM, Sacramento State Radio, CA) on Saturday, June 23rd, 2007.

Rob also wrote a great article, which you can read further down this page. (Thanks Rob!)

Check 'em out!


[ Click Here to hear the Interview from KSSU!   (17.8 MB MP3) ]


[ Click Here to jump to the Article by Rob Fatal! ]


[ Click Here to hear the Live KFJC Performance!   (74.1 MB MP3) ]


Article of Mass Destruction

Paranoia and excitement race through my mind as I creep timidly through the dim interior of Foothill College’s KFJC radio: a small station in the middle of a grass field, 20 miles north of San Jose, CA. I navigate my way down a dark, cold hallway which dumps into a concrete pit surrounded on all sides by towers of vinyl records and tall glass windows. This spot is commonly known as an in-studio performer’s space for KFJC, today, however, it will be the site of one of the most subversive acts against the U.S. government since 2003. This pit will today serve as war room for the DJs of Mass Destruction (DJs OMD): a hip hop axis comprised of DJs and producers from the Bay Area, New York, Japan, Ireland and Baltimore. Their mission: to hijack the air waves and Internet stream in an attempt broadcast their message of mental revolution to the world.

This rare live performance by the group is being held in honor of their second album: WAR II (the turd hunt continues…) (released in June on Hip Hop This sophomore album seems almost courageous if one knows the history of the group’s first album, 2003’s, WAR (if it feels good, do it!). The socio-political climate of the United States at the time of the first WAR’s release was, to say the very least, tense. The fear of 9/11 was still fresh in the minds of Americans as orange alerts were a daily staple on the news, war was starting with Iraq. This fear-laden environment made it extremely unpopular to criticize the Bush administration in any way, shape or form…..

DJs OMD second in command, DJ Pone (Hip Hop Slam/ Canned Beats/ Transplants), recalls the surreal atmosphere of November 2003, the month WAR hit the streets, with a story of a devastated music tour he did with BOMB HIP HOP USA owner Dave Paul. The story goes like this: one day Paul used the BOMB company credit card to purchase airplane tickets to various destinations across the United States on the BOMB music tour; the first of these destinations was Oklahoma City.

Pone reasons that, “The very, very aware citizens that took David Paul’s ticket order somehow made the connection between, BOMB, HIP HOP, OKLAHOMA CITY; and called the Feds.” The first show of the BOMB music tour was in San Francisco and, furthermore, was met with open arms… of the United States Secret Service agents who were present at the venue. Later, the Secret Service “ransacked” Dave Paul’s house according to Pone, and made Paul the target of “random” security checks at airports throughout the rest of the tour. Oddly enough, Paul is described by his DJs OMD comrades as a-political and having nothing to do this the original WAR album. Pone decries that Paul was a victim of the paranoia that was typical of the American public in November 2003 and their fear to speak out against Bush administration policy; “It was kinda scary”, he reflects. Yet, the DJs OMD released WAR regardless and in doing so endured government wiretaps (supposedly), sporadic Secret Service presence and public reaction to the group as traitorous and un-Patriotic.

Fast-forward 4 years to the release of WAR II. The American socio- political climate is a bit lighter: Now it is popular for Jay Leno to make cheesy one-liners about Bush, whereas in 2003 the subject was completely off limits. The paranoia of orange alerts on Fox news has given way to images of Paris Hilton being hauled to jail; and our government now deems the biggest threat to our modern society to be, no longer terrorism but, gay marriage. DJs OMD ring leader, Billy Jam sums it up best as he is interviewed on-air by KFJC veteran DJ Trinity: “After the war started, a lot of people were, like, afraid to say anything so they wouldn’t appear un-American, others were like, speaking out against it. And now, we all agree that it’s wrong; everybody. But, I think a lot of people have become complacent.” WAR II seeks to rectify this complacency with a compelling audio rendition of the last four years since WAR broke out….

So, here they are, four years later, right back where they started: on a mission to wake up a population that sways with the tides of the mass media. I watch DNZ, Dawgisht, Pone, Billy Jam, Shing02 and DJs OMD newcomer and former U.S. armed forces member, ALF, set up their equipment in the KFJC pit. A nod from Billy Jam starts the session. A high pitched, tingy radio signal freak out cuts through the air announcing to the world that the DJs OMD have once again seized the air waves; A dreadful bass line booms in, accompanied by the voice of Bush himself. His vocals have been slowed down to the same creep and moan as a dope fiend. His words: “America is Addicted to Oooooooooooooil.” This cut-and-paste, electro montage is a look inside the mind of an oil addict: zombie-like in pace, and dark and treacherous in melody. Familiar voices of reason, Chuck D and Jello Biafra, are scratched in on the vinyl and CD turntables by DNZ, ALF and Pone as precisely and eerily as the beats of Dawgisht and the fader board keys of Shing02.

This song sets the somber, darker tone of this second WAR album; an album obviously meant to be reflective of the hardships and helplessness experienced by the DJs OMD axis and, perhaps, some of the American population during the duration of the Iraq war. As DJs OMD beat maker, Dawgisht, notes: “The whole thing has a darker feel to it. The first one was [sic] a lot more little comedy, kind of [sic] upbeat. But this one’s [sic] music and the subjects are defiantly a lot darker, a little more twisted. I mean just like life is right now, it’s a little darker and more twisted.”

Back in the pit, what sounds like twisted carousel organs screech out the notes to the next song “SHUT UP”: a perfect rendition of the brash, overbearing cries of the right wing when anyone would speak out against their president. The simplistic, demented child-like beats and strategic, vivid quotes of Bush and Bill O’Riley articulately communicate the feeling of being talked down to by the higher ups in the government, similar to a child being talked down to by a parent. The Bush and O’Riley quotes make one feel like a child discovering that Santa was a lie all over again and being yelled at for crying about this tragic discovery: “You say we’re headed to war in Iraq, I don’t know why you say that.” “I’m the person that gets to decide, not you.” “It is our duty as loyal Americans to shut up” “You had your 35 minutes, now shut up!” “Shut Up” Shut UP” “SHUT UP!"

Despite the fact that this album is loaded with a familiar and deliberately left-wing political agenda, this performance and album are a-political displays of sheer sonic-musicianship and brilliance that would make even the most right-wing hip hop fan say, “werd.” Futuristic musical weapons make up the backbone of this audio-blitzkrieg: mp3 sampling turntables, computers and beat machines, a rare fader board that plays like a robotic piano made out of a DJ mixer and finally, the Islamic keyboard. Every song is executed with a professionalism and naturalness, so that each note played and sample scratched yields another cybernetic rhythm. No matter where your political affiliation lies, one cannot deny the sheer virtuosity and inspiration of their craft, especially on this album… and especially today in the pit of KFJC.

While the act of musicianship is somewhat a-political, the choice of using turntablism and hip-hop as their medium is a deliberate minority response to the powers-that-be. Hip hop is a signature of who they are and where they come from. Turntablism and hip-hop connect the axis to a longer lineage and deeper context of minority musicians that was around long before they were born and will extend long after they die. As DNZ puts it, “It’s just us.” These cyborg instruments also offer their masters many affordances classic instruments cannot. Pone reasons that sampling and manipulating the media, via turntables and beat machines, offers a power and voice to the social, racial and/or political minority; the outcast of society who must forcefully take in the overwhelming information of CNN, FOX and NBC with little or no say in response. “It’s kinda like taking what the media feeds us and regurgitating it back at them. You know? Kinda like we were [Lardass] in Stand By Me.”

At the end of their sixty four minute set, the DJs OMD have painted a near complete picture of American life as they have seen it since the war in Iraq started: They’ve debated what is the best way to go about ending the war, musically articulated the American psyche of hopelessness and distrust, called George Bush an incompetent leader and Jay Leno a sheep and played some amazing music. Their work seems to be done for the day, but one cannot help but ask: Was anything accomplished? Shing-02, Japan’s delegate to the DJs OMD axis, responds: “You got to separate the two, you know? Like what’s going on in the world of politics and entertainment, and what’s going on around you. You know? [sic] Because you can obviously change, and you can have an influence on the next person…therefore, there is a good reason to do something like this.” As he says this, I suddenly hear a ghostly echo of another musical rebel, Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello and his cry to: “Think locally” and “fuck globally”.

The whole day comes into focus, as do the last four years: all of the local protests, local rallies, local benefit concerts, discussions with friends and neighbors. These were not in vein, but were instead, all efforts to better our immediate world. And so today, in the pit of KFJC, these 5 rebels did just that: they changed the small world around them into something they felt was better. I feel then, it is apt to close with a quote from one of the DJs of Mass Destruction’s favorite sample sources:
“Mission Accomplished.”

DJs of Mass Destruction are:

DJ Pone — Lead Dubya, Ahhnold & Psychic Friends Skratches

Shing02 — ARP Odyssey and Faderboard Organs & Synths

DJ ALF — FX & Instrument Drops and Boot Camp Cuts

DJ DnZ — Hip Hop Rebuttal Skratch and Your Mom

Billy Jam — Rhythm Bush-isms and Islamic Prayer Laptop

Dawgisht — Amiga 1200 Beats & Basslines

Timi D… — Video and Stills

Froggy — Catering and Head of Security

DnZ's Mom — Roadie and Security of Head


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